Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Beating the weather

This morning the last fields, both meadows and pastures, got treated to slurry.
Now all we need is some gentle rain to wash it in.
Then some warm sun to make the grass grow.

And when the ground is not too soft but not too hard (just right for Goldilocks) we'll start rolling.
And if it's too compacted, then aerating.
And if there are any big lumps of muck, or mole hills, then chain harrowing.

The we sit back and wait for the pastures to grow to let the cows out, and the meadows to grow for silaging.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Are you ready?

Are you ready?
We were ready in 1999.
We booked the campsite in Cornwall the year before.
We packed the caravan.
I assembled OS maps in abundance (pre Sat Nav).
I got the Special Glasses.
Henry rushed around the farm so we could get away bright and early in the morning.
Then Oops!
I had a phone call at work from James to say he'd taken Henry to A&E with a towel wrapped round his toes (so keep them together).
So no trip down south (well, no further than the hospital at Lancaster).
By the big day came he was on crutches and we sat on the porch at home to watch the partial eclipse through clouds.
BUT, I kept the glasses in a Safe Place and I've got them out ready for tomorrow morning.
When at least I will sit on the porch and watch the sky maybe darken; clear skies are not forecast.
But, I'll be ready!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Social Media and Me

(I know it should say "Social Media and I", but while grammatically correct it didn't flow right).

Or - how things are changing . . .

Nearly ten years ago we bought a weather station (or rather I bought it for Henry for our 35th Wedding Anniversary, hoping he would set it up). We set it up in The Teapot Field so the aerial could transmit the data to the computer in the office. I installed "Weather Display" software and marvelled at the display and analysis on screen.

About this time I started to think a bit more seriously about a Strickley Website (I had had an abortive attempt a few years before). I realised I had a copy of Microsoft Frontpage as part of Office, so bought a book (in a real physical book shop) and plunged in. I then struck lucky. Pentalk (an organisation set up during the 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis) was running a website course at Crooklands - and they were using Frontpage. So I signed up and armed with lots of ideas, family history and photographs (but not much in the way of design skills) threw myself into it. By the end of the course our site was live. Pentalk is no more, but searching online today brought up this.

The next stage was to add a weather page to the website. This was surprisingly easy - Weather Display gives step by step instructions.  The original weather station was replaced in 2011 and is more advanced setup  on pole on the hill behind James' house, sending data to the computer in the kitchen.

Not being able to let things alone I setup a Twitter account, followed the Weather Display instructions and with a bit of fiddling about and a lot of trial and error got the computer to Tweet either a forecast or status report. Now I know they are not the most riveting or controversial tweets in the world, but it was really a case of to see if I could do it.

Meanwhile I had started the Strickley Blog (March 2007) and over the next few years waffled on about farm and family life. Sometimes it's easy to find something to write about, and the words just flow. Sometimes it seems that you've heard it all before and there's nothing new to say. So please forgive the sporadic nature of Blog posts. And have you ever noticed that there is a brief weather report on the Blog header? More fiddling about just to see if I could do it!

Of course the main Strickley website is not defunct. And I do feel guilty about ignoring it. I would like to completely refresh it, but having done it once I haven't quite the same enthusiasm. But, never say never.

While I only Tweet occasionally (apart from when the Weather tweets on my behalf), James is a prolific Tweeter and you really should follow him On Twitter search for @JRfromStrickley, or click this link . His tweets are mostly about farming and  show how far the Strickley family has embraced social media. Maybe because of his Twitter involvement he is featured on the This is Dairy Farming website - click here. And recently Farmers Guardian asked James to write "My Farming Week".

So, it's not just "Social Media and Me" - but "Social Media and Us".

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Watch out

The mole man is out and about!